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Written by Ying Chia |

Art lovers were thrilled at the recent Lakuh exhibition that was organised by visionary community platform, The Curious Playgrounds, wandering through a maze of corridors filled with artwork proudly all from Asian artists. Twenty-eight artists from across Borneo and the ASEAN region were selected for the curation of the immersive art experience that left attendees raving about having an international quality art show in Brunei.

“I feel relieved that the opening went well, … I saw the potential of Brunei Energy Hub and i’ve always wanted to create an installation (art) experience,” saud Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Hamlatul Arsy Mulia binti Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Pengiran Muda Haji Sufri Bolkiah, of her inaugural curation and execution of a large-scale exhibition. “The story that I came up with was that (Lakuh) was like a reflection of my story and my journey as an artist,” she explained in reference to the intentionality behind the winding corridors that were at times taped off with clear plastic and fabric screens. The wide open space is unusually bare — a clever trick that YAM Hamlatul said is designed to get people thinking critically as soon as they enter the area. Spoken word performances, live portrait sessions and plenty of interactive art made Lakuh truly memorable, according to visiting a guest.

With creativity at the heart of The Curious Playgrounds, the collaborative projects like Lakuh (which was co-curated by visual artist James Nguyen from Vietnam), will transcend geographical boundaries, serving as a testament to the power of creativity in fostering connections. With a varied list of contributors from Brunei Darussalam, Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, the feeling of community was certainly palpable through the month-long presentation.

“During COVID, I spent quite a bit of time in Brunei, which doesn’t usually happen, and I was a part of a few different exhibitions of artists from Brunei … I travel a lot and I usually go to museums, art galleries, which have a mix of people showcasing whether it’s a small or big event. So experiencing that all around the world, I always wondered why can’t we have that at home as well,” explained YAM Hamlatul, adding that she hoped Lakuh would inspire people to do the same and invite more artists to Brunei to exhibit together to kickstart a more vibrant arts industry in Brunei.

IG: @thecuriousplaygrounds


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